Preventing Workplace Discrimination in a Time of Crisis

In June 2015 the supreme court ruled in favor of a woman who was denied employment at Abercrombie and Fitch because she chose to wear a headscarf as a religious preference. 

This Samantha Elauf from Tulsa, Okla. was a highly rated applicant, who was recommended for hire by her first interviewer. She was denied the position on the basis that her headscarf was against the company’s “no cap” policy.

The company argued that if Elauf would have asked for a religious accommodation at the time of the interview, they would have granted just that. Meanwhile, Elauf had no idea about Abercrombie’s policy to begin with.

This is only one of many stories surrounding workplace discrimination on the basis or religion, race, or nationality. This discourse is especially important following the Paris attacks and the discussions about Syrian refugees.

Following the attacks of 9/11 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published “Questions and answers about the workplace rights of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs under the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws”.

Similarly to the discrimination that many people suffered after those events, Muslims in the U.S. suffer backlash after the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris. According to data released form the FBI, many Muslims have reported receiving hateful phone calls, e-mails, and vandalism of homes and Islamic Centers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has not published any type of question and answers following the attacks of Paris, but the same precaution should be taken. Employees must educate themselves about their rights, and report any discriminatory actions taken against them.

One would think that in 2015, employers would know the laws that govern their places of employment, but many are uneducated or worse, they believe that those they discriminate against are not educated about the laws that protect them.



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